In a sure sign that Len Brown intends to see this term out he will table a draft budget today for the Auckland Council that proposes a living wage for Auckland Council and CCO employees.
The policy will eventually cost $3.75 million per annum which is chicken feed when you consider that the bill for wages and employee benefits for Auckland Council is just short of $700 million per annum and the Council’s total spend per annum is in the vicinity of $3.3 billion.
It is a positive move. I understand that 1,500 staff will be affected.
Len intends to fund this through savings. Fair enough. He should reduce the money paid to the CEO and the senior level of management for the Council and the CCOs. This ought to provide considerable savings and also lessen the gap between the top 1% and everyone else.
It is not the end of the campaign, for Auckland Council through its contracts with companies that supply cleaners, labourers and a myriad of others still funds the wages of many on or close to the minimum wage. It will have to work out how to persuade these entities to also pay a living wage.
Len’s proposal is that the increase will be phased in over three years, starting at $1.25 million for 2014-15. He should be braver and think about introducing the policy this year. The amount is not huge.
But good on him to propose this. It will be interesting to see how the Council handles this proposal.